Friday, July 4, 2014

Heart Beats in a Hot Tub

Much of my time spent in thought this summer has been rather self-centered. I can tell because I feel lonely and my problems seems ridiculously large.
Since joining the LDS church I have learned a great deal about my life and this world. One aspect of everything that I am reminded is balance. Nearly everything has a balance that is in constant maintenance. The easiest example is breathing. Always in and out, and as long as I live it will never stop going back and forth.
It is important that I look to my own care and be sure of my health. However, I am not alone, and I can provide for more than just myself. But not always. Here is where I see a balance. Between independence and interdependence.
I believe that it is important to be independent and interdependent. This because I saw ripples in the still water of the hot tub. It was my heart beat causing the ripples. Rhythmic and without fail, ripple after ripple moving in the water.
In a way my just being alive causes ripples around me and affects everyone else.
So anyways, it's about time I begin realizing where I am and who is around me.
God help me. 

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Am I Willing?

We visited the Pearl Harbor monument today. It took awhile to drive down to Pearl city and I slept most of the way. After a night of dancing I was tired and not really into a long day.
Spending the time at this particular place was moving for me.
I never learned much about the surprise attack from the Japanese in WWII. Being there was particularly unique. The iconic white monument out on the water sits above the Navy destroyer the USS Arizona. It was one of those completely destroyed in the attack. Most of the crew perished and their bodies still lie under the water where the ship had sunk in the bay.
My great uncle Charlie, my Mom's Dad's brother, was in Pearl harbor during the attack but was one of the soldiers given leave and he was at church during the attack. He survived because of this.
Anyways. I reflected and wondered at my own willingness to sacrifice.
I appreciate these moments. 

Friday, May 16, 2014

Delays and Blessings

I don't typically get excited for any trip I go on until I'm on the plane. In this case the excitement did not hit me until I was sitting in first class flying from San Francisco to Honolulu.
Before that happened there were a number of set backs.
Getting to Seattle from Anchorage was fine. Window seat with plenty of time to try and sleep. But after getting there I found out my next flight was delayed, three hours. So I miss my next flight. The nice man at the desk put me on another flight and away I went. Well the plane left another half hour late and we were finally in air. I had to wait another 3-4 hours in San Francisco and when I stepped on the plane I went back into economy looking for aisle eight. None back there. I turn around and what's left? First class. Walking up there I thought it was a mistake. Then I found my seat and realized one of the best parts of today.
That nice man put me in first class. For about 20 minutes I was a little kid, wondering what all I could get for free. Mimosa? Brandy? Wine? All for free?! I 'll have water, thank you. They even fed me dinner, a rib eye steak with salad. For dessert? Ice cream sundae. I laid down and watched some movies, played my ukulele. It was at this point I felt like I was on a vacation. Thank you. Thank you God. Thank you nice man at the counter.
After a somewhat stressful night of figuring out rental car, getting food, and finding where we are staying at... it was time for something awesome.
Brennan, Dakotah and I walked a few minutes to the beach and ran along the beach, then we swam in the ocean for awhile. I touched the ocean.
Thank you Mom.
Here's to two good weeks of vacation.

Friday, May 2, 2014


I have a time machine that I will often run away to. Every one of my spare minutes, seconds even, are spent there. Getting lost in time and space has become the pastime of my life.
My time machine is my memory.
Pride for me comes in knowing and understanding. Love also translates in my mind as knowing and understanding, but not just anything. In understanding and being understood I am loved and loving.
So where do I often resort to? Moments in time where I felt and believed that I was loved, and in which I loved.
Snowflakes of the soft and delicately floating sort bring to my mind a memory of serenity. Uncertainty and potential confusion lashed at my mind during the hour long drive from Greenbay to Escanaba. After pulling into the driveway hidden in the woods and faced with my new residence for weeks to come, there were snowflakes. It only takes a moment, to solidify a memory. What else it takes is effort and concentration. Taking in the environment and recognizing the star-like shining from the snow around my feet. I decided in that moment that it would all be okay. I knew and understood that God loved me, and I loved Him.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Day 2?

Not as jittery as yesterday but still on occasion I feel like I want to jump out of my skin.
I sleep, and that's a good thing. I also wake up earlier than I normally do.
It's that anxious energy I'm trying to deal with now. I try to keep my brain occupied doing things and it seems without that I end up needing to focus on breathing and that's all. This has been a strange experience so far. They tell me it needs time to level off. Apparently my brain is being flooded with more seratonin than it previously had to experience and it needs to adjust. Hoping that my brain gets the idea and starts producing this more without the need for the pills. But we'll see.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Day 1: Reaching Out

While in the darkness it's easy to sit and stay. Just be quiet and be miserable.
It won't bother anyone else and that's good, right?
That's when it needs to happen. Realization that friends and family DO want to be bothered. They DO want to hear how you are doing. They DO want to help.
So you've got to raise your voice, speak up, and reach out.
For me it started with replying to texts.
"I'm not doing well"
"Things aren't going so well"
Then accepting invitations to make cinnamon rolls, go on walks. It also helped me find motivation when I discovered that one of the actresses from the series Doctor Who will be appearing at Comic Con in Salt Lake city next weekend. Something to get excited about.
I think the last part of reaching out for me was scheduling an appointment with a doctor.
That appointment happened today and I came away with a two month prescription of Lexapro, an anti-depressant.
For so long I've stigmatized myself against depending on a drug to make me feel better. But with family history fraught with depression I decided it was time to try it out, at least until I'm out of the hole well enough to get my head back on straight.
1 pill, every night before going to bed.
I'm feeling anxious about it. I understand it will take a while for it to have much noticeable effect.
We'll see how things go and I'll keep you updated.
In other news.
I saw God's hand in my life today.
The girls standing outside of the student center offering free hugs to stressed out students (it's finals).
A friend with time to spare and a willingness to care.
Beautiful paintings on exhibit at the Museum of Art on BYU campus.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Don't Belittle Your Challenges

There will always be rough spots in life. One way we've learned to deal with some of these is to change our perspective. Being a poor college student and going hungry every once in awhile isn't so bad when you remember that some don't have a paycheck to look forward to; a time when one gets to eat like a king and order from Pizza Hut rather than get Little Ceasar's.
Changing attitude is a miraculous fix to much of life problems. In doing so I hope that people take caution in minimizing their struggles. Benefits abound when challenges come but we may disservice ourselves by playing it off, saying, "This isn't as serious as that problem some person halfway around the world has".
Your problem is serious to you because it's in your life and it's your problem. Thinking around the great looming rock in your path by saying that someone else doesn't have this rock doesn't get rid of the rock. Now it may appear smaller when you change your attitude, but the rock is still there and for some, no matter how small it may appear, the weight still presses down.
And when you amass for yourself more boulders than you can count you may downplay your accomplishment when standing upon the mountain of your achievement.
Ok, if you spilled the coffee you just bought then obviously it won't be time to cry. But if that were the straw that broke the camels back don't think poorly of yourself. Life is hard.

Depression: A Walkthrough

I suffer from depression. It's more often than not mild and on rare occasions severe.
To me it's a mental and emotional illness that has a biological aspect.So basically everything has something to do with it. When I have many healthy connections with those around me I fare better (sounds like common sense). The waves of stress and turmoil don't rock me as much when my emotional safety net is large enough.
However, there come times when the stars line up just right and it hits me.
I usually don't recognize where I am until after I've stumbled through a few weeks.
Week 1: Just a few more stresses to deal with. I can do this. No problem.
Week 2: Well it's just a little bit more difficult than last month or the couple of months before, you know. Life has ups and downs.
Week 3: Why is it so hard to go to class? Why can't I get out of bed? Today was supposed to be a good day.
Week 4: There were days last week I should have been perfectly fine. All motivation has left me at this point. It's difficult to even think about cooking for myself.

It wasn't until about 3 months into the new year that I realized I'm still suffering from depression. The lingering darkness that haunts me. It sits just behind my ears, on the back of my neck and without even raising those hairs to let me know it sinks in.
My prayers are suffocated. Hope fades and the cycles begin to set in.

Cyclical Self-Depreciation
I'm depressed. I'm no fun. I don't have my lively personality. People won't have fun around me. I won't go.
People don't spend time with me because I'm no fun. I must not be that important.
I'm not important enough to bother those people. They wouldn't want to spend time with me.
Why are my days filled with no accomplishment. I feel terrible and worthless.
I'm worthless and shouldn't even try. I won't get anything done because my work isn't good.

The fact is, none of this is necessarily true. But it happens. It's happened throughout so many years of my life.
Sure there are ups and downs, doesn't everybody have those? So why do I bother?

"Are you coming up today?"
"I've been in bed all day"
"Get out of bed. Go be with people"

It's at this point where I know something has to be done (I've known all along, and despite years of experience the task is still monumental)
Get up. Go to the shower. Accomplish something. Get food. Eat it. Drink something. Drink water.
Next I'm in the car. Focus on the road. Don't be lazy. Don't endanger anyone else. (Here comes another cyclical downward spiral). Stop. Think about the people who love you.

This is when things are getting pretty bad for me. Some days I feel more or less near a cliff and there's that looming sense of darkness that hovers just behind me. Other days the hole is several feet away and I'm not worried about falling in. But always that hole is there. I must always be aware of its reality.

Looking back I can imagine the concern on faces of friends. "What can I do to help?" "What do you need?"
I don't know. It's too dark to see.
And so nothing is done, because I don't know.

If you've read all the way to this point please read on for the next sentences.
I'm not crying out for help. I want you to see what I see. I want you to understand in some small way my depression. I believe there are more people who experience mild depression than are happy to admit. No one wants to be considered suicidal. But you don't have to be suicidal to be depressed.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Depression. Don't Suffer Alone.

I just finished watching this TED talk on depression.
Last night I stayed up and didn't go bed so I could write a short (6-7 pg) autobiography of depression in my adolescence and how it shaped me into who I am today.
I haven't written in my blog for awhile and so it feels strange to write. I'm thinking about you who might read my blog. It might be Mom, or one of my sisters. There are likely many of you who read but I'll never know. That's ok, I try to keep it short for your sake.
Take 30 minutes and watch this video. I wasn't going to and then I did. It was worth it.
Do not suffer alone. We live here together, not separate.
I really was hoping for more profound quality in writing this. Maybe some other day that will happen.